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Scarborough Johnston Press staff told: 'Go to Sheffield, or else...'

9 March 2010

Johnston Press management told journalists at its Scarborough newspaper they must move to Sheffield or lose their jobs. The NUJ has accused the Johnston Press Group of a 'conspiracy of silence'.

Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands organiser, said:

"This is just the first step in a management gameplan to force our members to accept the introduction of the ATEX content management system for production of the group's newspapers.
"The lack of information available to our members is causing huge anxiety and is a reason why journalists right across the Johnston Press Group voted by a massive 87 per cent that they would be prepared to take industrial action over the proposed changes to working methods.
"Management is treating employees in Scarborough in this deplorable way because it clearly feels no responsibility for their welfare or proper employment. There has been a conspiracy of silence around the company's plans to introduce the ATEX content management and that conspiracy has generated real fear for the future among our members.
"They don't know if they will have a job in a few weeks' time; the Johnston Group is saying, in effect, that it doesn't care about the impact of forcing an extra journey of an hour-and-a-half to work upon sub-editors being told to move from Scarborough to Sheffield. The alternative if they refuse to move is to compete for a number of lower-paid jobs.
"Our members are sick of being pulled from pillar to post. What they want to do is to produce quality newspapers by using their professional skills and experience. While all the company wants is to reduce everything to a financial equation, Johnston Press Group is putting everyone's jobs at risk by this reckless strategy. Our members will fight to stop the company undermining its own core business."

Tags: , newspapers, atex, johnston press, ballot, industrial action, scarborough, sheffield, relocation